Dugong v. Rumsfeld

No. C 03-4350 MHP (2005)

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Dugong v. Rumsfeld

United States District Court of the Northern District of California
No. C 03-4350 MHP (2005)

  • Written by Jody Stuart, JD

Facts

In Okinawa, Japan, the United States Department of Defense planned to construct a new military-base facility at Henoko Bay. The Okinawa dugong was a small, isolated population of the dugong species, a marine mammal, and would be harmed by the Henoko Bay construction project. The animal was central to mythology and rituals in traditional Okinawan culture and was listed on a register protected under Japan’s Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (cultural law). In the United States, the habitats of several culturally significant animals are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Okinawa dugong and environmental groups (plaintiffs) brought an action against Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense (defendant) for failing to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (act). Rumsfeld filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the act did not apply to the circumstances in the action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Patel, J.)

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